Archive for around the house

i could get used to this

day #4 at my parents’ house in jim falls, wi

i could get used to this…

…spiff running around care-free in my parents’ back yard, off-leash – 40 acres of quintessential rural wisconsin land.  pouncing on grasshoppers and chasing butterflies and bees.

…flannel sheets – even in the summer, my mom knows that flannel sheets really are the coziest.

…sleeping in til 8, 9, 10… waking up whenever my body feels like it.  no alarms.  no immediate sense of panic about what i have to do, what i’m late for, what i’ll never get done.

…napping on the porch swing.  enough said.

…sitting on the deck in perfect summer weather.  just sitting and being.

…slowly preparing food to share with loved ones.  no rush, no stress.  i can clean fresh green beans all afternoon.

…my parents’ endless bad ‘jokes’ and the way jess laughs every time.

…my mom sneaking spiff extra treats, like a grandma spoiling her grandkid.

…the lakes.  the rivers.  fresh water.

…the deep relief and comfort of home, and family.  admiration, respect, gratitute and love for the amazing people who raised me to become who i am.


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for peanut butter lovers only

if you’re not a hard core peanut butter lover, turn back now.

after running 9 miles this morning (training for the run for burma), i decided i wanted a big pile of pancakes.  so i headed to the kitchen and immediately starting mixing up the batter – one of a few “recipes” i have committed to memory.

i have long used a version of the garden of vegan‘s pancake recipe that i personally modified, and i often change it up a bit – using oats, adding chopped nuts, using different kinds of flour (never ever use soy flour in pancakes – lesson learned), corn meal, and of course chocolate chips and blueberries (not together), etc.

the ripe mashed banana is the vegan’s standby binding ingredient instead of eggs, and many times i use banana in pancakes, but i learned awhile ago that you don’t even really need any egg substitute and they turn out fine – just use a little more rice milk/soy milk/water.  (i think there are lots of baking conspiracies – like baking powder and soda – do those ambiguous little white powders actually do anything?  i rarely use the right amounts or sometimes leave one or the other out entirely, and things always turn out fine for me).  plus, sometimes you get tired of everything tasting like banana.

but today – today, i had the grand idea. as i was mixing the rice milk into my flour mixture, i looked up and saw the jar of peanut butter.


why haven’t i tried this before? i thought to myself, and scooped a heaping spoonful into the batter.

10 minutes later i had my big pile of pancakes with the new peanut butter addition.  and, well – would i immediately post it on my blog if it wasn’t divine??!

the one downfall – i nearly puked after scarfing the whole pile of pancakes down – i ate all of them from the photo (damn, why did i use the chipped plate?!) PLUS the one giant pancake not shown – you know, the last one when you scoop the rest of the batter out thinking it’s not that much and then you end up with a pancake the size of the pan?  yeeaaaah.

so here’s the “recipe” from today:

1 cup flour: 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 unbleached white

1/2 tsp-ish baking powder

i was out of baking soda, but you could probably throw in 1/4-1/2 tsp of that, too (again – i think it’s a conspiracy)

1/4-1/3 cup rolled oats

1 cup rice milk

1/3-1/2 cup water

2-3 Tbsp (?) natural crunchy peanut butter

(this should probably feed two people…)

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bubble curtain

i finally finished knitting this curtain for our bathroom window. it’s the “bubbly curtain” pattern from mason dixon knitting.

the idea is that it’s supposed to still let light through, but everyone shouldn’t see you… the pattern concept was supposedly of champagne bubbles floating up.

i knit this with elsebeth lavold’s hempathy yarn (cotton/hemp blend), which i love, on size 6 needles.

this photo is actually kind of fake, as i’m waiting for jess to get home to move the curtain rod lower… this is actually only going to cover the lower window pane, and leave the top pane open for more light to come in.  this was partly intentional (i wanted to be done, and was trying to convince jess that this was a valid idea), and partly not (my local yarn store no longer carries this particular yarn, and i ran out – i assumed this was a sign that my idea for only covering the lower window pane was the way to go).

anyway, i think it’s pretty, and it really made me appreciate lace, even though this is a super simple pattern as far as lace goes.

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introducing spaceman spiff!

after obsessively searching all of the bay area rescue dog websites for over a year now, jess and i finally took the leap yesterday and went meeting them in person.

we started our day visiting a house-full of senior dogs at Muttville in san francisco.  we had spent so much time on the website looking at all the dogs, we could greet each and every one by name when we arrived, since we recognized them from their profiles!  they were all adorable, and there was one named rosie whom we definitely would have taken home if we were allowed to have big dogs at our apartment, but we are not.  there was a dog named Goofy whom we were particularly interested in – he is 18 years old, has frequent “freeze” seizures, and his kidneys are failing.  despite all this he did great on the walk we took him on – he is still very much alive and kicking!

after much discussion, however, i had to admit that i personally am not ready to take care of a senior dog at this stage in my life, as much as i would love to help make an old dog’s last years his greatest.

next we were scheduled to visit a dog named blackberry through a group named rocket dog rescue, but while on the bus on the way to visit him, we discovered he had already been adopted (the foster mom tried emailing us this, but jess rarely checks her email…!).  yay for blackberry’s new home.

so, when we thought we were done for the day, we wound up heading over to lisa’s passion for pets on jackson street downtown oakland.  CA Underdog Rescue & Adoption runs adoptions out of Lisa’s every weekend, and this is where we met our new friend whom we are calling SPACEMAN SPIFF! (one of calvin’s superhero alter-egos in calvin & hobbes)

calvin-spiff1he is the cutest little thing – and so mellow – especially for being only 1-2 years old.  he has slept – nuzzled into our laps – for the majority of the last 24 hours that we’ve known him.  which is perfect for us!  it’s hard to imagine why anyone would have left this little guy in a DROP BOX at a shelter in the middle of the night.  he would have been killed if CA Underdog hadn’t come to the rescue!



jess is now making him a little spaceman spiff outfit with an old sweater of mine and fabric we’ve had lying around.  he’s such a little dog, he definitely needs a sweater to keep him warm in our cold rainy season right now.  so why not make it a spaceman spiff outfit?!  i will definitely post photos when it is done… i’m sure there will be no shortage of photos of our new little friend – who, by the way, has been sleeping in my lap with his paws stretched out on the laptop the entire time i’ve been writing this…:)

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